Experience Speaks: Lisa M. Trajkovich

  • VP/COO of Protect-all Inc.
  • Management style | Lead by example.
  • Motto | By failing to plan, you plan to fail.
  • How did you get into the converting business? My father was a pioneer in this industry and was instrumental in engaging my brother and me in the business. Seems like we've been involved in the converting industry most of our lives.
  • What do you wish you had known when you started out? It is okay if you don't have all the right answers. The key is that you learn how to use your connectivity in the industry to find the information you need and are relentless at using that information to create solutions.
  • How do you retain good employees? Protect-all is in a somewhat remote area of southern Wisconsin, so the immediate candidate pool is rather small. The management team is very hands-on with all aspects of the company, which I think helps create a corporate culture that retains employees. When we find a key player for our team, we train them how to succeed at Protect-all and try to build upon the strengths they bring to us.
  • What is the key to growing a business in a bad economy? Don't let the economy be an excuse. Keep prospecting, work harder, and stay focused on your core competencies and your loyal customers. Good customer relationships are fundamental in a bad economy.
  • What do you feel are the key qualities necessary to be a successful leader? Tenacity, patience, the willingness to always keep learning, and having a pulse on your market. The ultimate expert of your industry and business needs to be you.
  • What sustainability efforts have you made? We recycle everything we can. We also created a system where the heat generated from our equipment cycles through the facility to heat the warehouse. We are constantly exploring ways and new trends in eco-friendly materials as well as modifying structures to reduce the overall footprint on our planet.
  • Any hobbies? I enjoy hiking, boating, kayaking, bicycling, running, and I am learning to play the piano.
  • What is your biggest mistake? I made a bad hire and was not prompt in correcting the mistake. I learned the motto, “Slow to hire, quick to fire.”
  • Have any management books influenced you? Small Giants: Companies That Choose To Be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham.
  • What is the best advice you ever got? In a leadership position, you will not make the correct decision every time. It is still imperative that you make a decision.
  • What advice do you give? Never pass up the opportunity to remain quiet. There is so much to learn, and you will never know it all. You can learn more by listening than by talking.
  • Who is your personal hero? My dad. He taught me a work ethic of perseverance and determination early on in life, and as an adult, he became my boss, my mentor, my friend, and remained my daddy. I miss him.

About Protect-all Inc.

  • 109 Badger Pkwy., Darien, WI 53114; 262-724-3292
  • www.protect-all.com
  • Founded 1990; 1 plant; 60 employees
  • Specialty | Extrusion and adhesive lamination/coating, serving the flex-pack and thermal lamination markets

what management books have influenced you? share your perspective. Write to yolanda.simonsis@penton.com.


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